Graviola as a Preventative?
First, I am sharing my personal opinions on this subject. My opinions are based on my own personal research I’ve conducted over many years on many rainforest plants, my use of them on myself and in my naturopathic practice, my use of them formulating herbal supplements, and twenty years of selling these herbal supplements and formulas in the world-wide natural products market to health practitioners and direct to consumers. I no longer sell anything… no herbs, formulas or products. I have no financial ties to anyone who does sell herbal supplements. No one is paying me to say this, and no one can pay me not to say this.
Graviola kills cancer.
There, I’ve finally said it! I never could say it before because I once sold it. But I can today.
Wow, that feels good!
And what you need to be aware of, is that none of the manufacturers or companies selling graviola today can say this. They must make FDA-approved “structure-function statements or claims” like… “graviola supports a healthy immune system” and other unhelpful, and in my opinion, misleading statements and claims in marketing graviola (and most other herbal supplements). I want to clear up this confusion now because I can now.
I do NOT use graviola to help immune function. I do NOT use graviola as a daily supplement for cancer prevention or any other type of condition. I use graviola for cancer. These manufacturers selling graviola would tell you the same thing if they could. They are simply saying whatever is “permitted” to say.
This is what all the research says: graviola can kill cancer cells in several highly specific ways. It also has a way to specifically target cancer cells and kill those cells and not healthy cells. Lots of research has proven this; more research is continuing to prove this. I’m updating all the new research right now to update the plant database file on it. Stay tuned, because I’ll write a new blog very soon discussing this new cancer research on graviola – it’s epic!
One of the ways graviola targets cancer cells is liking and being attracted to a chemical called ATP. If all your cells are cars, ATP is the gasoline that fuel the cars. Your body makes its own ATP/gas out of a “crude oil” chemical called CoQ10. Not enough CoQ10 circulating in your body means not enough ATP fueling your cells. All of your cells have ATP in them and need it to function properly.
A cancer cell is like a high-octane-gas-guzzling speedy race car. It needs and uses LOTS more ATP because it’s rapidly growing and dividing much faster than normal cells. The anticancer compounds in graviola like, and are attracted to ATP, and migrate to these high energy/high ATP cells first. The second way graviola targets cancer cells is that there is a specific enzyme that is found only in the cell wall of some types of cancer cells that’s rarely expressed in normal healthy cells. It's not in all cancer cells, but it's in a lot of them. These graviola anticancer compounds are attracted to this enzyme and seek it out and find it too. Between the high ATP and this enzyme, these anticancer compounds in graviola naturally gravitate to cancer cells.
This is especially true for cancer cells that have mutated against chemo drugs to survive. The main way they mutate is by creating a tiny pump inside the cancer cell that can pump out the chemo faster than the chemo can kill it. Once these type of cells are formed and they divide and grow, they’re completely drug resistant because they all have these little pumps. BUT, running the pumps take even more ATP energy, so graviola compounds are especially attracted to these very high ATP/energy multi-drug resistant cells too.
Once these graviola compounds find a high ATP energy cell they almost completely inhibit the ATP in the cell. With the reduced energy, the cancer cells can’t run the high-energy pumps and they shut down. With the loss of fuel in the cancer cell, they can’t divide and multiply as fast and sometimes not at all. There’s just not enough fuel for these high fuel processes. The research shows this effect can stop the cancer cell’s ability to grow/make copies of itself. But the ATP inhibition doesn’t actually kill the cancer cell. Now that the compound is there, the enzymes in the graviola compound interacts with the enzyme in the cell wall of the cancer cell that graviola was attracted to. This interaction of the enzymes causes the cancer cell wall to dissolve or fall apart. That is one of the ways that these graviola compounds are actually capable of killing cancer cells.
If you DON’T have a bunch of these high energy cancer cells for graviola to migrate to, and you take a lot of graviola and take it chronically/daily, these compounds will start inhibiting ATP energy to healthy cells. It won’t be killing these healthy cells but they will start slowing down with less energy. That is the main reason I’ve never used graviola as a daily cancer prevention supplement. It’s also why I’ve never recommended to anyone to take it for longer than 30 days if they don’t have cancer. This is why I didn’t use it in any formula that would be used chronically, like the formula I had that actually did support your immune system that could be taken long term.
Graviola doesn’t “prevent cancer” it kills the cancer cells you already have. If you want a supplement that “prevents cancer” look for plants with “antimutagenic” actions. When a healthy cell starts to mutate into a cancerous one, the first thing that happens is the DNA strands break. You want something that prevents these breaks and might even be able to repair broken strands. Cat’s Claw has been documented with the ability to do this. So has Chanca Piedra. Graviola has not. Personally, I don’t know what will happen with chronic low cellular energy/ATP to a bunch of my healthy cells, and it’s not something I choose to find out by taking Graviola chronically in the absence of cancer. I just don’t need to.
That’s why I’m concerned when I see some of the “enforced marketing statements” on graviola products. I don’t use graviola for immune function and still won’t even after a couple of new studies were shown that it does help immune function. Instead I use cat’s claw to support immune function. It works better than graviola for this, it’s fine to take chronically/long term and it has none of the ATP inhibition issues that graviola does. I’m really glad to see graviola can increase some natural killer cells and help modulate some inflammatory immune chemicals as shown in some of the new research! That’s really helpful if you have cancer and are fighting it with graviola.
Some of the new research says graviola is a great antioxidant. But I won’t be using it in the new antioxidant I’m formulating now because of the ATP inhibition problem. I’m glad graviola has great antioxidant actions… once again, that’s VERY helpful if you are battling cancer and using graviola as one of your weapons. Look at the blog I wrote on cancer and antioxidants. But if I didn’t have cancer, I would use cat’s claw or chanca piedra or several others as a healthy daily antioxidant. All three of these plants have the same exact common antioxidant chemicals that are commonly found in strong medicinal plants. I don’t want slow functioning or low energy cells in my body if I don’t need to.
Personally, what I do for cancer prevention is take one bottle of graviola (I actually like the formula I developed called N-Tense instead of graviola alone for this) at two capsules twice daily for one month. I personally do this twice a year hoping to just clean up any cancer cells I’m not aware of that might be floating around. Others I know who have other health issues that make them more prone to developing cancer for some reason, do this “prevention” 3-4 times a year. I certainly can’t prove it works this way for this purpose. It just seems logical to me based on what I know, and it’s what I do. I also see in the research, once the graviola is gone the ATP inhibition is gone and the cells quickly return back to normal energy levels.
Some of the new research on graviola is showing some benefits in diabetes and I’m seeing some marketers of graviola try to relay this information. Again, personally, I would not use graviola chronically to treat diabetes either for the same reason. The benefits recently shown that graviola provides for diabetes can be obtained from another plant called picao preto. That plant is fine for chronic use and provides the same types of benefits for diabetes and actually works better at it than graviola (based on recent animal studies on both plants). Picao preto also is a great source of the same antioxidant chemicals in graviola, so I’d get that benefit too (and much of the “anti-diabetic” research on both plants are attributing this benefit to these antioxidant compounds anyway).
There are lots of other effective non-energy-depleting options for these things. I used graviola in two formulas, both used to be taken for around 30 days. One was for candida/fungus and the other was for parasites. Neither were meant to be taken chronically or for preventative purposes.
This also is true for graviola fruit juice and the fruit juice supplements being sold. My personal opinion is these should not be taken chronically either for all the same reasons. Personally, I always had some questions and mild concerns about the juice and I never sold it or used it. All the research supports that graviola seeds found in the fruit contains a couple neurotoxin alkaloids and the seeds should not be ingested for this reason. I’ve been to a couple of Brazilian juice factories and watched them process fruits into juice. Mostly they just put the whole fruits into a big machine that chopped them all up, skin, peel, seeds and all. They add water, stir it around for a while and then mechanically press out the liquid from the chopped-up stuff and it’s juice (then usually sweetened and bottled or spray dried into fruit juice extract powders). Some thicker, more bitter fruit peels of some fruits might get removed first to protect the taste of the resulting juice.
I always wondered if any of these toxic alkaloids in the graviola seeds leached out into the juice if the seeds got chopped up in this process, and if so, was there enough to be a problem. I know seeds are not removed before juicing graviola; they’re too wrapped around the pulp throughout the fruit to do this effectively. I always stuck to using graviola leaves because I didn’t want to have to deal with this potential problem. I will say however, after seeing a study on mice chronically drinking graviola fruit juice for a year (see the Graviola Safety Blog page) it doesn’t seem to be a big issue.
And this study proves my point. They did notice an ATP-inhibition effect in brain cells in this mouse study. It didn’t kill any brain cells, but they recorded less ATP in these healthy cells and suggested this lack of ATP might have caused the cells to oxidate more efficiently. They manipulated the graviola fruit juice over the blood-brain barrier by using mutated mice so this is probably not happening in our un-mutated brains, but it can certainly happen with juice products elsewhere in the body. For all the same reasons, I personally don’t recommend drinking graviola fruit juice chronically or taking any of the fruit juice supplements chronically either, for all the same reasons as above.
It’s your health and your decision however. I’d urge you to do some more research on graviola’s ATP-inhibition actions before you decide to continue taking it chronically long term. Consider taking a break for a couple days every week or so. If you choose to continue chronic constant use and you don't have cancer, it may be helpful to add a CoQ10 supplement to your diet. Remember, CoQ10 is the crude oil your body needs to make more gasoline/ATP. This is the opposite of what I do for cancer. I don’t want to fuel the cancer cells with more ATP and I want graviola inhibiting the ATP to those cells. But if you don’t have cancer, your healthy cells may need this added ATP starter chemical to overcome graviola’s action in this regard. Just something else you should consider as you make your own health decisions.
Stay tuned… I’ll be adding a new blog soon on all the new cancer research that has taken place on graviola when I finish updating the graviola Tropical Plant Database page for it.